The command prompt might not be an all-joy feature of any operating system for most people, but those of us that live in the code, or have to support any substantial systems know what pain it can be to get data in and out of Command prompt.

Yes Windows 10 Technical Preview is all about the Enterprise and the nerds amongst us. So you can understand our joy when JoeB informed us that they even touched the good old Command Prompt to bring it to 21st century with the latest Windows OS.

One of the feature added is the ease to Copy/Paste in Command prompt. I promptly tweeted that I don’t get what the noise is all about as there have always been a means to interactively get data in or out of CMD as shown below:

By activating the QuickEdit Mode, you can mark text and press enter to Copy and right-click anywhere to paste. But I guess not many know about this as it is disabled by default.

But what JoeB didn’t mention during the presentation was the fact that you can now select by column in Command Prompt. These may seem non-essential to you till you need to get portion of relational data out of any system if you’re dealing with databases. Think Excel columns.

Normally when you select in Command Prompt, you select horizontally, lines after lines. But say you want to get the data of the Date and time information like I have highlighted above, before now there is no way to do this short of dumping the whole text into either Word or Notepad++ kind of tools that support column selection.

Well we are glad this little addition has come to Command Prompt now to help those of us that deal with databases. To column-copy, set the cursor at the start of the your copy, press ALT button and drag your column. Press then Enter to copy. Voila as you see here below!
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Try it yourself, and start appreciating Microsoft’s attention to details in Windows 10

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